Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes v. Ecuador, Case 11.445, Report No. 95/00, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.111 Doc. 20 rev. at 514 (2000).
ANGELO JAVIER RUALES PAREDES
October 5, 2000
On November 8, 1994, Angelo Ruales Paredes (hereinafter the petitioner)
lodged a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter
the Commission or the IACHR) against the Republic
of Ecuador (hereinafter the State) denouncing the violation of
the following rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter the Convention or the American Convention):
the right to humane treatment (Article 5), personal liberty (Article 7), a
fair trial (Article 8), and judicial protection (Article 25), in violation
of the obligations in Article 1(1) to the detriment of the petitioner.
On June 11, 1999, the parties reached a friendly settlement in this
case. This report presents a brief account of the facts and the text of the
settlement agreement, pursuant to Article 49 of the Convention.
At 8:00 p.m. on July 3, 1993, the petitioner, 21 years of age, was
detained by Agent Palacios near the coliseum in Ibarra, province of Imababura,
where he was caught stealing accessories from the vehicle of the Provincial
Chief of the Crime Investigation Office (OID) of Ibarra, Lieutenant Colonel
Raúl Ruiz. Lieutenant Colonel Ruiz ordered that the petitioner be investigated,
and the latter was brought in to the Ibarra police station.
At the station, the petitioner was tortured during interrogation.
He was forced to remain in a tripod position and to flex, and was submerged
in a pool. He was also sprayed
with gas and pulled by the genitals with his shoelace. Police health personnel
had to suture the resulting wound.
In the days following his detention, the petitioner, writing on cigarette
paper, made known his injury and his lack of communication with his family.
The petitioners family sent a physician to examine him; however,
the physician was not allowed to see him. The situation became public knowledge,
and an investigation of the torture was launched.
The police officers accused of torturing him are Rafael Lahuasi, Luis
Ernesto Cocha, and Fernando Delgado. These officers admitted to the judge
that they subjected the petitioner to acts of physical aggression.
The petitioner requested that the events be investigated and the perpetrators
punished. He also said that even though Article 145 of the Penal Code of the
Police punishes offenders who commit torture with six to nine years in prison,
the accused officers were detained for merely six months and then returned
PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION
On November 8, 1994, the Commission received the petition for this
case, which was opened on March 13, 1995. Processing of the case proceeded
in keeping with the Commissions Regulations.
On January 7, 1999, the Commission invited the parties to engage in
friendly settlement procedure, and on January 30, 1999 the petitioner accepted
that proposal. The Commission Rapporteur at that time, Dr. Carlos Ayala Corao,
traveled to Ecuador to facilitate the procedure. The friendly settlement agreement
was signed on June 11, 1999.
IV. FRIENDLY SETTLEMENT
The Friendly Settlement Agreement signed by the parties and the IACHR
Rapporteur reads as follows:
Ecuadorian State, through the Office of the Attorney General, with a view
to promoting and protecting human rights and given the great importance of
the full observance of human rights at this time for the international image
of our country, as the foundation of a just, dignified, democratic, and representative
society, has decided to take a new course in the evolution of human rights
Office of the Attorney General has initiated conversations with all persons
who have been victims of human rights violations, aimed at reaching friendly
settlement agreements to provide reparations for the damages caused.
Ecuadorian State, in strict compliance with the obligations it acquired upon
signing the American Convention on Human Rights and other international human
rights law instruments, is aware that any violation of an international obligation
that has caused damages triggers the duty to make adequate reparations--monetary
reparations and criminal punishment of the perpetrators being the most just
and equitable form. Therefore the Office of the Attorney General and Mr. Angelo
Ruales Paredes, each of their own right, have reached a friendly settlement,
pursuant to the provisions of Articles 48(1)(f) and 49 of the American Convention
on Human Rights and Article 45 of the Regulations of the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights.
following persons were present at the signing of this Friendly Settlement
Dr. Ramón Jiménez Carbo, Attorney General of the State, as indicated
in his appointment and certificate of office, which are attached as qualifying
Mr. Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes, citizenship document No. 100205510-9; a
copy of that document is also attached as a qualifying document.
STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
Ecuadorian State acknowledges its international responsibility for having
violated the human rights of Mr. Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes enshrined in
Article 5 (right to humane treatment), Article 7 (right to personal liberty),
Article 8 (a fair trial), Article 25 (judicial protection), and the general
obligation set forth in Article 1(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights
and other international instruments, since the violations were committed by
State agents and could not be disproved by the State, thus giving rise to
the above, the Ecuadorian State accepts the facts in case No. 11.445 before
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and undertakes the necessary
reparatory steps to compensate the victims, or their successors, for the damages
caused by those violations.
view of the foregoing, the Ecuadorian State, through the Attorney General,
as the sole judicial representative of the Ecuadorian State, pursuant to Article
215 of the Constitution of Ecuador, enacted in Official Register No. 1 and
in force since August 11, 1998, is awarding Mr. Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes
lump-sum compensatory damages of fifteen thousand US dollars (US$15,000) or
the equivalent in local currency, calculated at the exchange rate in effect
at the time the payment is made, to be paid from the National Budget.
compensation covers the consequential damages, loss of income, and moral damages
suffered by Mr. Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes, as well as any other claims
of Mr. Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes or his family members regarding the subject
of this agreement, under domestic and international law, and is chargeable
to the National Budget. To this end, the Office of the Attorney General will
notify the Ministry of Finance, for it to carry out this obligation within
90 days of the signing of this document.
OF THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE
Ecuadorian State pledges to bring civil and criminal proceedings and pursue
administrative sanctions against those persons who are alleged to have participated
in the violation in the performance of State functions or under the color
of public authority.
Office of the Attorney General pledges to encourage the general prosecutor
(Fiscal General del Estado), the
competent judicial organs, and public agencies or private institutions to
contribute legal evidence to determine the liability of those persons. If
admissible, the action will be subject to the constitution and laws of the
RIGHT TO SEEK INDEMNITY
The Ecuadorian State reserves the right to seek indemnity, pursuant to
Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, from those persons
found responsible for human rights violations through a final judgment handed
down by the countrys courts or when administrative liability is found,
in keeping with Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights.
TAX EXEMPTION AND DELAY IN COMPLIANCE
payment made by the Ecuadorian State to the other party to this agreement
is not subject to any current or future taxes, except for the 1% tax on capital
the event that the State is delinquent for over three months from the date
on which the agreement is signed, it must pay interest on the amount owed,
corresponding to the current bank rate of the three largest banks in Ecuador
for the duration of its delinquency.
Ecuadorian State, through the Office of the Attorney General, agrees to report
every three months to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on compliance
with the obligations assumed by the State in this friendly settlement agreement.
keeping with its consistent practice and obligations under the American Convention,
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will oversee compliance with
compensatory damages that the Ecuadorian State is awarding to Mr. Angelo Javier
Ruales Paredes are provided for in Articles 22 and 24 of the Constitution
of the Republic of Ecuador, for violation of the Constitution, other national
laws, and the norms in the American Convention on Human Rights and other international
human rights instruments.
friendly settlement is entered into on the basis of respect for the human
rights enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights and other international
human rights instruments and of the Ecuadorian Governments policy of
respect for and protection of human rights.
NOTIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION
Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes specifically authorizes the Attorney General
to notify the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of this Friendly Settlement
Agreement, so that the Commission may confirm and ratify it in its entirety.
parties to this agreement freely and voluntarily express their conformity
with and their acceptance of the content of the preceding clauses and state
for the record that they hereby bring to a close the dispute before the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights over the international responsibility of the State
for violating the rights of Mr. Angelo Javier Ruales Paredes.
DETERMINATION OF COMPATIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE
The Commission determined that the settlement agreement transcribed
above is compatible with the provisions of Article 48(1)(f) of the American
On June 15, 1999, the Police District Court upheld on appeal the three-year
prison sentence for officers Luis Ernesto Cocha Tulcán and Rafael Lahuasi
Aldas for torture. Officer Fernando Delgado Arias was acquitted in 1997, when
his involvement in the events investigated was disproved. In the second appeal
on November 8, 1999, the Court of Justice of the National Police upheld all
parts of the judgment being appealed and dismissed the officers from the National
The State complied with one very important obligationit punished
the perpetrators--however it has yet to fulfill its commitment to compensate
The Commission reiterates its appreciation to the Ecuadorian State
for its willingness to resolve the case through compensatory measures, including
measures needed to punish the perpetrators of the alleged violation.
The IACHR also reiterates its appreciation to the petitioner for accepting
the terms of this friendly settlement agreement.
The IACHR will continue to monitor compliance with Ecuadors commitment
to pay compensatory damages, which it has not done to date.
The IACHR confirms that the friendly settlement mechanism set forth
in the American Convention allows for a non-contentious end to individual
cases and has proved, in cases involving different countries, to be an important
vehicle for settling alleged violations that can be used by both parties (the
petitioner and the State).
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
To acknowledge that the State punished those responsible for the violation
but has failed to pay the US$15,000 in compensation.
To urge the State to take the necessary steps to fulfill the pending
commitment regarding payment of the compensation.
To continue to monitor and supervise compliance with the friendly settlement
agreement and, in this context, to remind the State, through the Office of
the Attorney General, of its commitment to report to the IACHR every three
months on compliance with the obligations assumed (by the State) under this
To publish this report and include it in the Commissions Annual
Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.
Done and signed
at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the
city of Washington, D.C., October 5, 2000. (Signed)
Hélio Bicudo, Chairman; Claudio Grossman, First Vice-Chairman; Juan
Méndez, Second Vice-Chairman; Commissioners:
Marta Altolaguirre, Robert K. Goldman, and Peter Laurie.
* Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo, an Ecuadorian national, did not participate in the discussion of the case, pursuant to Article 19 of the Commissions Regulations.